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Ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks for preoperative pain management in hip fractures: a systematic review

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Systematic reviews associate peripheral nerve blocks based on anatomic landmarks or nerve stimulation with reduced pain and need for systemic analgesia in hip fracture patients. We aimed to investigate the effect of ultrasound-guided nerve blocks compared to conventional analgesia for preoperative pain management in hip fractures. Five databases were searched until June 2021 to identify randomised controlled trials. Two independent authors extracted data and assessed risk of bias. Data was pooled for meta-analysis and quality of evidence was evaluated using Grades of Recommendation Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE). We included 12 trials (976 participants) comparing ultrasound-guided nerve blocks to conventional systemic analgesia. In favour of ultrasound, pain measured closest to two hours after block placement decreased with a mean difference of -2.26 (VAS 0 to 10); (p < 0.001) 95% CI [-2.97 to -1.55]. In favour of ultrasound, preoperative analgesic usage of iv. morphine equivalents in milligram decreased with a mean difference of -5.34 (p=0.003) 95% CI [-8.11 to -2.58]. Time from admission until surgery ranged from six hours to more than three days. Further, ultrasound-guided nerve blocks may be associated with a lower frequency of delirium: risk ratio 0.6 (p = 0.03) 95% CI [0.38 to 0.94], fewer serious adverse events: risk ratio 0.33 (p = 0.006) 95% CI [0.15 to 0.73] and higher patient satisfaction: mean difference 25.9 (VAS 0 to 100) (p < 0.001) 95% CI [19.74 to 32.07]. However, the quality of evidence was judged low or very low. In conclusion, despite low quality of evidence, ultrasound-guided blocks were associated with benefits compared to conventional systemic analgesia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Anesthesiology
Volume22
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)192
ISSN1471-2253
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022. The Author(s).

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